Tag Archives: ultrasound

Friday the 13th full moon blues

It’s been an busy and emotional week (pregnancy week 30).  I prepared loads of meals for our post-baby period where I anticipate having no time or energy for cooking. So I made chilli, stew, lasagne and curry, and froze portions in our new little chest freezer. My inner control freak, ever a hungry food snob, is relieved! I went for CTG at Rigshospital on Tuesday and again on Friday to check how the babies were doing. My appointment was at 2pm  and as usual I waited 2 hours before I was called by a midwife. This is not unusual, since the hospital had cutbacks and recently got rid of loads of midwives, so they are understaffed. Luckily, I am on maternity leave, so I have made peace with the idea of spending hours in the poorly lit, rather depressing waiting room. I manage by reading a good book and munching on a stash of nuts & raisins in my bag.

However, upon engaging with this midwife (it’s never the same one), I could tell she wasn’t up for the challenge. I have seen how tricky it can be to find both the babies’ heartbeats, and I have huge respect for the midwives who face this battle every day, countless times a day. But this midwife didn’t seem to realize that she should palpate my abdomen to locate the babies’ backs, and thereby the hearts. She quickly gave up and after she left I waited another 30 minutes for a doctor to come and scan me to find the babies so they could do the CTG.

While I was waiting I thought I would speak to the secretary because I was sure I was supposed to have a scan but hadn’t been given an appointment yet. This is also not unusual. There is some communication difficulty and I don’t get always the necessary appointments, unless I ask for them. I have to have a scan every 4 days, and 2 CTGs per week. This is a risky time, and I would hate to miss signs of distress and lose the babies so close to the finish line.

Also, it could be that I am going to have a C-section in 10 days, and we haven’t even booked a time yet!

As I was explaining the situation to the secretary I was suddenly totally overwhelmed by the fear of something bad happening to the babies, and the frustration that only some people at the hospital seemed to understand that this is a high risk case and needs careful attention. Not to mention the prospect of not knowing when the doctors are going to start slicing me open. And so the blubbing began. Geez these pregnancy hormones are powerful man. One minute I was calmly explaining the need for monitoring, the next I was sobbing and had to run to the bathroom before drowning in mucous and tears. Once the floodgates opened though, it was really tough to get things under control again. For the next 20 minutes every time I tried to talk I would just burst into tears. There was a really sweet Chilean lady in the waiting room who kindly patted me on the back and said it was  all going to be ok….Thankfully, I was soon called in and the doctor and midwife doing the scan and setting up the CTG have seen a million overly emotional pregnant ladies, and just let me work through it.

So after the drama, the doctor realized that yes, I really do need a scan to check blood flow and she sent me to the ultrasound department, which was already closed for the weekend. The fetal medicine specialist there kindly did the scan after hours on a Friday evening, and measured the blood flow and the size of the twins. She couldn’t tell me the estimated weights because the computer system was already shut down, but she could see they were both bigger than last time. She also assured me that the blood flow was all normal.

After 5 hours at the hospital, all my fears have been temporarily put aside, and the doc promised me an appointment for a scan and Tuesday and that we will soon decide the date of the C-section. It seems that I really, really like having a plan.

30 weeks- big belly!
30 weeks- big belly!

I feel better now, except for the mild discomfort of having baby feet squeezing my diaphragm, and a slightly achy pelvis – I am really feeling super pregnant right now, but more calm. I can’t believe we could be meeting our baby girls in a week!

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Third trimester of pregnancy: June 2014

Today marks 29 weeks and 4 days along the pregnancy. I am in the middle of the second week of maternity leave, and feeling a little bigger and more tired than last week so I have been taking it easy….There are no signs of premature labour or cervical insufficiency (nice lingo hey?), but I have had some Braxton-Hicks (aka practice) contractions (which is normal).

Fun fact: A woman carrying twins at 30 weeks is carrying the same weight as a singleton pregnancy at full term. That explains it….

I have been swimming to enjoy some time without the weight, and generally organizing things at home. The next project is to cook a bunch of meals, aliquot them into portions and freeze them (in our newly acquired chest freezer) for the anticipated insanity coming our way. Anyone who knows me knows that I want a square meal come hell or high water, and I’ll make damn sure I’m getting one if I’ll be breastfeeding 2 hungry little babies! Friends in Denmark please note: this does not get you off the hook! You are still very welcome (and kind of obliged and forced) to make us meals, generally help and tend to us in the early desperate parenting days 🙂

Today I spent the day at Rigshospital, having tests:

1. Diabetes test to check for gestational diabetes (since my grandfather had diabetes) – no problems there (except for how gross it is to drink a cup full of liquid with 75g of glucose in it)

2. Ultrasound scan & blood flow check

3. Midwife chat

4. Obstetrician chat

The summary is that this week the blood flow of the twins looks fine (in their various arteries as well as the umbilical cord) but one twin seems smaller than the other. One has always been a little smaller, but it seems like the gap is widening. So 2 weeks ago baby 1 was 954g, and she is now 1.2 kg, while baby 2 was 943g and is now about 1 kg. The weight is estimated based on measurements of the circumference of the head and abdomen as well as the length of the femur. Obviously there is a lot of error, given that the femur is only about 48 mm long (aw so tiny). But now the obstetrician reckons maybe a C-section at 32 weeks is more likely than 34 weeks.

one tiny baby profile

So you are probably wondering, like me, why is this happening???

Well they don’t really know… It could be the start of twin-twin transfusion syndrome where one twin is getting the blood from the other, but it’s hard to tell. The main indicator is bladder size, and their bladders don’t look extremely different, so that’s not confirmed. It could also be that for some reason baby 2 is not getting what she should from the placenta.  Either way, it’s not really a good thing to see.

So. bummer.

I mean the babies are both kicking and have good heart rates when we monitor them with CTG (they put these little ultrasound monitors on your belly at the positions of the babies’ hearts and it measures how fast their hearts are beating, usually 130-150 bpm), usually for 20-30 minutes at a time. So far this indicates they are not yet in distress. I have 2 CTG appointments this week, and another ultrasound for the blood flow to keep a close eye on them. Next week I have another scan, 2 more CTGs and a visit to see the neonatal unit at the hospital for the first time.

So the plans is keep on thinking happy thoughts and hope the girls can make it to 32 weeks.

Second trimester of Pregnancy: Feb – May 2014 (week 14-26)

The second trimester arrived, and I felt really lucky not to have any complications yet. The queasiness persisted until mid-March, but when it finally lifted, it made me feel as though I had been born again, a new woman! Then I figured out I have to eat every  hours or so, just a little something to keep the blood sugar stable.

Then we found out that we have little girls, which is the case for 75 % of momo twins (I have no clue why).

The babies started kicking around mid-April (22 weeks), and this was the best gift I could get. usually, I have an ultrasound every 2 weeks and just hope that they will be ok and find the 2 little heartbeats still going strong. I would get all moody and strung out just before the scan in preparation for bad news. But when they started kicking in there, I finally had some indication of their condition in real time.

The kicking is really adorable, and they tend to do it more if I drink a cold drink, when I eat and when I play music. When my brother visited and played guitar every day, it felt like they were dancing around in there. Now I’m not sure if it was just that I had some kind of hormone surge since I like guitar, and that was causing them to kick, but whatever the case, I choose to believe they are music lovers like their mom 🙂 Now we just have to see if they end up loving folk music like me, or heavy metal like dad…..